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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchange's Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been Delisted

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June 29, 2012.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) [1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [2] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[3] notice is hereby given that on June 22, 2012, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the NASDAQ. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

NASDAQ is filing with the Commission a proposal for the NASDAQ Options Market (“NOM”) to amend Chapter VI, Section 5 (Minimum Increments) to: Extend through December 31, 2012, the Penny Pilot Program in options classes in certain issues (“Penny Pilot” or “Pilot”); and provide for or allow replacement of any Penny Pilot issues that have been delisted.[4]

The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay period contained in Exchange Act Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [5] to the extent needed for timely industry-wide implementation of the proposal.

The text of the proposed rule change is available from NASDAQ's Web site at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at NASDAQ's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, NASDAQ included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. NASDAQ has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The purpose of this filing is to amend Chapter VI, Section 5 to extend the Penny Pilot through December 31, 2012, and replace any Penny Pilot issues that have been delisted.

For a pilot period scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012, the Penny Pilot allows certain options to be quoted and traded on the Exchange in minimum increments of $0.01 for all series in such options with a price of less than $3.00; and in minimum increments of $0.05 for all series in such options with a price of $3.00 or higher. Options overlying the PowerShares QQQ Trust (“QQQQ”)®, SPDR S&P 500 Exchange Traded Funds (“SPY”), and iShares Russell 2000 Index Funds (“IWM”), however, are quoted and traded in minimum increments of $0.01 for all series regardless of the price. Currently the Exchange trades 345 options classes pursuant to the Penny Pilot.

The Penny Pilot is a very successful and efficacious pricing program that is beneficial to traders, investors, and public customers, and the Exchange has received numerous requests to expand and continue it. This proposal allows the Penny Pilot to continue in its current format for six months through December 31, 2012.

Commensurate with the extension of the Penny Pilot through December 31, 2012, the Exchange proposes to replace any Penny Pilot issues that have been delisted with the next most actively traded multiply listed options classes that are not yet included in the Pilot. The replacement issues will be selected based on trading activity for the six month period beginning December 1, 2011, and ending May 31, 2012. The replacement issues would be added to the Pilot on the second trading day following July 1, 2012.[6]

In terms of housekeeping, the Exchange proposes to delete the phrase “on a semi-annual basis” from Section 5(a)(3) of Chapter VI to make it consistent with a similar provision of another exchange, namely Phlx Rule 1034(a)(i)(A).

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [7] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [8] in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system, by extending the Penny Pilot and replacing delisted Penny Pilot issues.

The Exchange notes that the Penny Pilot is a very successful and efficacious pricing program that is beneficial to traders, investors, and public customers, and the Exchange has received numerous requests to expand and continue it. This proposal would allow the Penny Pilot to continue in its current format through December 31, 2012.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

NASDAQ does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [9] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[10] Because the proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative prior to 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [11] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.[12]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing.[13] However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[14] the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because doing so will allow the Pilot Program to continue without interruption in a manner that is consistent with the Commission's prior approval of the extension and expansion of the Pilot Program and will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to analyze the impact of the Pilot Program.[15] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposed rule change as operative upon filing with the Commission.[16]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Send an email to rule-comments@sec.gov. Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-075 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-075. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-075 and should be submitted on or before July 27, 2012.

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[17]

Elizabeth M. Murphy,

Secretary.

Footnotes

4.  The Penny Pilot was established in March 2008 and in October 2009 was expanded and extended through December 31, 2010. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 57579 (March 28, 2008), 73 FR 18587 (April 4, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-026) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness establishing Penny Pilot); 60874 (October 23, 2009), 74 FR 56682 (November 2, 2009) (SR-NASDAQ-2009-091) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness expanding and extending Penny Pilot); 60965 (November 9, 2009), 74 FR 59292 (November 17, 2009) (SR-NASDAQ-2009-097) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness adding seventy-five classes to Penny Pilot); 61455 (February 1, 2010), 75 FR 6239 (February 8, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-013) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness adding seventy-five classes to Penny Pilot); 62029 (May 4, 2010), 75 FR 25895 (May 10, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-053) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness adding seventy-five classes to Penny Pilot); 62617 (July 30, 2010), 75 FR 47670 (August 6, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-092) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness adding seventy-five classes to Penny Pilot); 63396 (November 30, 2010), 75 FR 76064 (December 7, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-150) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness extending the Penny Pilot); and 65969 (December 15, 2011), 76 FR 79268 (December 21, 2011) (SR-NASDAQ-2011-169) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness extending the Penny Pilot).

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5.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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6.  The replacement issues will be announced to the Exchange's membership via an OTA posted on the Exchange's Web site.

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9.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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12.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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13.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this pre-filing requirement.

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14.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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15.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61061 (November 24, 2009), 74 FR 62857 (December 1, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-44). See also supra note 4.

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16.  For purposes only of waiving the operative delay for this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 2012-16539 Filed 7-5-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P